The Future of the Educational Marketplace

I was reading Stephen Downes‘ article on the Future of Online Learning, and ran into a paragraph that hit home more than the rest, about the marketplace for course content.

Today, much of the value derived from the learning marketplace is based on an artificially imposed scarcity – a scarcity of seats in classrooms, a scarcity of credentialing agencies, and a scarcity of educational publications, for example. These scarcities will disappear as governments prefer to fund education directly, and at cost, rather than support such business models.

Government directly supporting learning and bypassing the “business models” of educational institutions. This will cause an incredible upheaval. I guess the best way to weather this change as a learning facilitator, or provider of “knol”s would be to sharpen delivery methods and make sure my content is valid, relevant, and reliable. This will be all about building a reputation and a community of followers, whom we used to call students. Hoo-boy, do most of us have our work cut out for us.